The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reunions

July is finally coming to a close.  What a month it has been!  As seen through the mind of a blogger, I'll say that I can tell it's been busy because my July folder of pictures is packed and has more photos than any month in Preslar history, yet the blog has pathetically few entries.  It's been a little brutal, actually - my kids are absolutely fried.  We have had so many fun things happening and so many gatherings of dearly loved people that they've been up late, getting up either very late or very early, eating at strange times, having multiple playdates every day...I need to make them comatose for 24 straight hours to just get them to chill out.  And yet I wouldn't trade a moment. I'll write about a couple of our highlights separately, but for this post I'll mention a few things. 

This month seems to be the month of reunions, beginning with a visit from our dear friends the Gores, who moved to Arkansas just before Christmas.  Their daughter Juliet is one of Bitty's very best friends, and we continue to refer to her that way despite the separators of time and distance.  The Gores were in town for three short days and our community of friends pretty much spent those entire three days together as much as we possibly could.  BBQs at our house, Pizza at someone else's, playtimes in the afternoons, lunches, plus an emotional but therapeutic visit to Terri Lyn's grave.  We were tired but I still didn't get enough of my friend, nor did Bitty of hers.  Sadly, I was horrid at taking pictures of our gatherings, so I only have a couple of Bitty and Juliet, but at least I have those.



Another fabulous reuniting of friends happened last week as I gathered with many present and former members of the Child Life staff at Primary Children's hospital where I worked for three or four years.  It has now been a whopping 9 years since I left, which hardly seems possible.  What I love is that despite all those years I still feel very close to those people, some of whom are still working there and some who are not.  There were several dear faces that I didn't get to see, but so many others that I did, best of all being my former director Laura, whom I haven't laid eyes on since Stomper was about 10 months old.  I didn't realize how much I had missed her along with so many other wonderful nurturing women and men, and though my career at the hospital was not especially lengthy nor prestigious, it was profoundly influential in my life and growth.


Skipping ahead to this very day, we were very happy to reunite briefly with one of Troy's best friends from high school and his wife, and most importantly his new baby boy Warren.  We're so happy for the Mackays who have just begun their family after overcoming many challenges.  I only have one picture from today, but it's a keeper, and we're hoping to see them again soon before they leave for D.C. again.






I'm all bubbling over with endorphins right now.  Remind me to reread this post in about January, okay?

For The Record

I moved to Salt Lake City when I was 11 years old.  Some 27 (eek!) years later I can now say that I have attended the annual Pioneer Day Parade.  I think I may have gone once in my early tweens but I don't really remember much besides being super hot and smashed in with a lot of people, so I'm not sure it counts as having attended the parade if I don't recall a single float or marching band.  This year my sister, who recently bought a home in the Liberty Park area, invited me to come over with the kids, park in her very conveniently located driveway, and stroll over to the nearby parade route.  I was surprised that she joined us in our venture - watching a parade doesn't seem like her gig but she and I chatted about what a uniquely Utah thing it is - I mean, that parade can be a little weird sometimes,  but it's such an eclectic gathering of people from many different walks of life, both in and out of the parade.  I think I enjoyed the crowd as much as I enjoyed the show, if not more so.  There were the rambunctious teenagers, the arguing spectators, the gang of people across the street who erupted in cheers every time they were able to encourage the sign-carriers to spin in circles.  It was really fun!  For about one hour, that is, and then the kids had had enough of the spectacle and we went home for an otter pop.  I may consider doing it again in the next three decades.




Monday, July 25, 2011

Not QUITE the Trip I Was Planning On

You know you've had a really big week when, after an evening spent with friends, you buckle your daughters into their car seats, hop behind the wheel, pull away from the curb and then ask them if they need anything. Surprisingly, there is no answer, so you turn around only to find that both of them have completely zonked out before you have even reached the corner.  Yes.  It's been a busy couple of weeks.

Last week - now almost two weeks ago - Bitty had her one formal event of the summer (Stomper's was cub camp - wish we could have had THAT every day!).  She was in a small dance class every day for an hour and her performance was on Friday.  Nothing spectacular, but she loved it and came away from the experience with a giant purple tutu and a rose-studded coronet for her hair.  Miss Natalie knows how to make little girls very happy.


The morning of her performance was a hectic one because I was busy stuffing our car absolutely chock full of camping equipment, which the girls and I would need for our ONE NIGHT in the mountains.  Bitty's dance camp overlapped with the annual Preslar family campout, so the boys took off on Thursday morning and the girls and I followed suit on Friday afternoon.  We went to a small campground just outside of Preston, Idaho, which was a nice place minus the heavy traffic.  Hope I'm not being offensvie when I say that I don't ever need to camp with ATV-riding folks ever again.  Ever.  I swear, there was more noisy, roaring traffic in that campground than there is at my house downtown.  But the mountains were nice and the family had a really good time together.  Until that night.  And then I learned what it is like to feel like an extremely crappy mommy. 

I was sitting in our camping area after dinner, hanging out and knitting and chatting with my cute 16-year-old nephew and my mother-in-law.  We were watching Bundle wander around walking Rascal, my in-law's little dog.  Rascal has his hyper moments, but this was not one of them.  He was just patienty letting Bundle lead him along, and Bundle was so fascinated that she was watching the dog behind her instead of the ground in front of her.  Which is why she didn't notice the fire pit.  Now, dinner had been over for hours and all that was left in the pit was a heap of white ash.  I wasn't even thinking about it.  In fact, when Bundle tripped over the metal ring surrounding the pit and landed on her knees in the ashes, the first thing I thought of was the powdery mess I'd have to clean up.  Luckily my nephew's brain was actually functioning and he was out of his chair like a shot and grabbed Bundle before things got a lot worse than they already were. 

Those next few moments were some of the worst I've experienced.  Bundle's one shin was badly burnt - although how she managed to localize the burn to that one area is beyond me and I sincerely thank our guardian angel for that tender mercy. Her skin looked melted and bubbly and very scraped up.  I was rushing around like the proverbial headless chicken looking for water to rinse it with as the family gathered in alarm.  It was only 10 minutes later that we had located Troy, turned down many kind offers from Stomper and his cousins for various items from their first aid kids (way to go, cub scouts, but a band-aid just ain't gonna do it right now), secured Stomper and Bitty's care with their aunts and uncles, hopped into the car and were high tailing it for the hospital in Preston.

I was expecting a long awful night waiting our turn in a tiny ER, but it turns out that if a town is small enough, there just aren't that many emergencies going on at any one time.  We were lucky enough to be the total center of attention in their one emergency room and I have to say, we all did a very good job.  Bundle did, and I did too.  The doc on call lived close by and was there within 10 minutes or so, and cleaning up her burn was not nearly the ordeal I was expecting.  Bundle was treated quickly and was made as comfortable as possible with a little help from our friend Tylenol with Codine.  She was very brave and I did a very good job distracting her and using all my long-dormant Child Life skills.  We assured Bundle many times that she was doing great.  I assume that is why, the moment after her bandages were secure and I immediately slumped into a near faint and had to be lowered to the floor by our kind doctor, that she approached me, gave my knee a pat and told me, "You're doing great, mom." 

After only an hour or so we had little choice but to head back to camp, though I loathed the idea of sleeping in a tent with my poor injured gal. We made it through pretty well.  We had one dose of medicine to administer in the middle of the night but really it wasn't so bad.  It has now been over a week since the accident and I'll just say that today is probably the first day that Bundle has seemed like her old sweet self, though of course she's still sporting a bandange over her slowly healing wound.  We affectionately call it her "special sock."    She has also enjoyed a bug bite on her wrist that swelled her hand to twice its size, and a touch of heat stroke that left her feverish for two days.  I'll just say that the folks at the pharmacy have stopped asking questions about me showing up there twice a day.

So the rest of the camping trip was really quite enjoyable.  It was just that one little itty bitty thing about the emergency room and my daughter getting 2nd degree, borderline 3rd degree burns on her her shin.  The rest was fun.  After all, when you get Troy's brother Rick and his wife Tonja in front of some dutch ovens with bacon in their hands, there is little that can go wrong.  Plus the kids got to go fishing.  They lasted about 15 minutes each time and came no where near to catching a fish, but they sure had a great time!

Oh yeah. And every single day since then has been absolutely cram packed with stuff.  Which I will blog about later.  Maybe.







Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's a Great Day In Our Lives!

Long long ago, my family went on a camping trip along with two other families.  Actually, it was way beyond a camping trip - we went backpacking up in the Wind Rivers.  And I was about 10.  It was pretty epic, and I think I, as a 10-year-old, found plenty of things to complain about. As well as being very tough, it was a beautiful trip, and there's a lot I'll always remember about it.  One thing in particular was something that one of the dads used to exclaim in a booming, cheery voice every morning and then multiple times throughout the day:  "It's a great day in our lives!"  At first it cheered and perked us up, then it became oppressively annoying, but by the end of the trip we were all yelling it all the time, and my family still hollers it at each other every now and then.  Hey, It's a great day in our lives!

This phrase has been in my head lately.  Summer continues to clip along at a hectic pace and every day there is something to truly enjoy and savor.  It's not easy; I'm still performing the Herculean feat of hauling myself and three kids, plus all of our accompanying luggage and necessities, on outings and occasions almost daily.  But how lucky are we to have so many things to enjoy?

A week ago today I took the kids to the Aviary.  I haven't been there in a couple of years and found it to be an absolute oasis of calm in the swirling activity of places kids go in the summer.  Obviously not enough people go to the aviary, because, in complete opposition to places like the zoo, it was peaceful and quiet.  Sure, I had to drag the kids by their ankles out of the gift shop, but once we made it through there, we had a lovely time running over the shaded paths and venturing through the many different areas.  Our favorite had to be the feeding of the parrots.  They have a fancier name than that, but I can't remember what it is at the moment.  Sun...something.  Anyway, that was the best part for sure:



Monday of course was Independence Day, and quite the busy one it was.  Our church hosts a neighborhood pancake breakfast, which is all fine and good except that my husband is one of the facilitators of the event.  He was superman that day and got up extra early to put in a ride up Emigration Canyon BEFORE he had to be at the church at 7:00 to set up, help cook and mingle then put it all away.  By noon he was dragging slightly.  He did take a break in there to let me participate in the 5k fun run, which wasn't that much fun at all!  OK, it was a lovely morning and I was kept company as I plodded along by my very patient friend, and it went pretty well considering I go for a jog about once a month.  As awards were handed out at the end of the race I was hoping I'd win the "I Actually Made It" prize for coming in last, but I guess they skipped that category this year.  Oh well!

After a quiet afternoon, during which I forced my big kids to take a 20 minute "nap," (lie still with your eyes closed and don't talk!) we headed up to a home in Bountiful where my friend hosted a swimming and bbq party.  I really wanted to be hanging out with the grownups talking, but since I had one of the only toddlers there I was in the pool much of the time.  That's not such a bad way to spend the 4th of July, I know, and certainly in a few years I'll get to be with the grownups all I want.  For this year, I just paddled Bundle around while cheering on Bitty and Stomper who continue to develop their swimming skills.  Stomper especially has made a breakthrough this summer and is jumping off the diving board, picking up toys off the bottom of the pool and seems to have conquered his fears.  Hooray!






Our final big adventure of the week was to use my groupon (I'm loving groupons!) for passes to This Is The Place Heritage Park.  There is so much to do there, if you're willing to brave the heat.  My friend Krista and her adorable kids showed us around and the kids had a lovely day attending old fashioned prairie school, getting a shave at the barber shop, and hanging with the farm animals.  Bundle was especially enamored with the lambs, and walked around the holding pen by their sides, her hand on their backs and letting us all know that those were HER lambs.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Sunday Funnies

Ah, Sunday.  Always a day of peace, rest, and spirituality.  That is, unless there are kids involved.

I bought these cool little books from Costco for the kids to doodle in during church.  Each page has at least the beginning of a drawing with plenty of space for the kids to fill in whatever their creative little minds can come up with.  Surprisingly, Bitty has been taking each page slowly and methodically, taking care with every detail.  Stomper, and I'm pretty sure a few of his buddies who slip into our row from time to time, has gone through his books with a fury and not everything drawn there is appropriate.  I picked up one of the books after church the other day and started flipping through it and came upon many a page that had been filled in with the following vein of 8-year-old-boy humor: 


Can one laugh and be angry at the same time? I have to confess to some serious chuckling, though not while Stomper was looking, that's for sure. I now understand the furtive looks Stomper was shooting me during church.

Another favorite moment of the week was at the library.  The kids have been participating in the City Library's Summer Reading Program and we were there to collect our prizes after the kids had filled in another page of their charts.  The prizes this time were fortune cookies, which Stomper was certainly less than thrilled with but Bitty and Bundle dove into with enthusiasm.  Bitty popped open one cookie and asked me to read aloud what her fortune said.  I snickered as I read it to her:

"Your day will be somewhat dictated by authority."  

Bitty was not comfortable with this notion, as she makes abundantly clear on a daily basis.   This led to a discussion about the definition of the word authority and how it might (or might not) apply to her.  I was humored by my own exasperation with our chat when I caught another mom in the next row laughing out loud at me and my daughter.  She looked like she had taken a walk in my shoes before.  Ah, kids.

You know, The Becky introduced me to a wonderful new vocabulary word that is extremely validating.  She told me the story of a man in ancient Greece who got in trouble with the big shots.  I don't remember what he did, but it must not have been good because he was condemned for all eternity to push a big rock up a hill, and every time he is just about to the top, the rock slips from his grasp to roll all the way back down the mountain, where he has to go and begin again.  His name: Sisyphus.  His experience and all others like unto it can be described as (get ready for this awesome word): Sisyphean.  Let me use it in a sentence for you:

Sometimes, parenting can be quite Sisyphean, don't you think?  (You can substitute the word "laundry," "grocery shopping," "fixing the house," "mowing the lawn," or any number of things for the word "parenting," as I'm sure you will once you start using Sisyphean in your everyday conversations.)

I love it.  We just have to keep rolling that dang rock up the hill and we just never quite make it to the top, do we.  Well,  as long as we're never going to arrive at our destination, here's to enjoying the journey.  The long, arduous, sweaty, journey.  Just kidding.  Sort of.  And by the way, if I'm so Sisyphean, how come my muscles have not developed in such an awesome manner, I ask you?